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tv   Newsline  PBS  May 13, 2011 7:00pm-7:30pm PDT

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"welcome to "newsline." i'm michio kijima in tokyo with the news at this hour. an official from japan's nuclear safety agency said a fuel melt down at fukushima daiichi number one reactor will have an impact on how the crisis is controlled. nishiyama says filling the reactor's containment vessel with water may not be worth it. nishiyama says the melted rods at the bottom of number one reactor is being cooled by a slow amount of water. he doubts it is necessary to
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flood the containment vessel entirely, something the tokyo electric power company has been trying to do. >> translator: it may not be necessary to flood the containment vessel entirely, even though there is not much water inside the reactor, the fuel rods are cooling down. >> tepco officials said thursday most of the fuel rods in reactor number one are believed to have melted and sunk to the bottom of its pressure vessel. they said the melted fuel has apparently cooled even though much of the water they've injected is leaking through holes at the bottom of the vessel. the utility devised a plan last month to fill up the containment vessel with water and set up a system to circulate water through a heat exchanger. nishiyama said tepco only needs to put in enough water to make the system work. he expects the utility will likely change its strategy and inject water to the minimal level.
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the japanese government has officially decided on a framework for helping tokyo electric power company to pay compensation for the nuclear emergency at the fukushima daiichi plant. in a new framework, a new state-backed institution will be set up to facilitate payments to those effected. the new body will receive financial contributions from electric power companies that own nuclear power plants in japan. the government will inject public funds by allocating to the institution a special type of bond that can be cashed whenever necessary. the new body would annually return a certain amount of money from tepco to the state's coffers. the framework also says the government will back up tepco if a stable power supply is threatened. but the government must pass necessary legislation in the diet to realize this framework and the process is expected to face rough going. the total size of compensation is not yet known, and concerns have been raised that the plant could lead to utilities passing
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on costs to consumers through higher power bills. japan is facing yet another concern about its food because of the accident at the fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant. radioactive substances about the legal limit have been detected in tea leaves harvested south of tokyo. the prefectural government is checking samples that come from 15 municipalities. it follows the discoveries of monday of 570 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram of tea leaves grown in the city. the national limit is 500 becquerels. officials say radioactive cesium above the safety standard has been detected in five samples. the highest readings were 780 becquerels in adawa city. 740 becquerels in kiyokawa village. 680 becquerels in yugawara town. and 670 becquerels in aikawa town.
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the prefectural government has asked the five municipalities and local farmers associations to voluntarily halt shipments of tea leaves for the time being. it says it will repeat the test in these towns and villages when tea leaves are harvested next month. the secretary general of the united nations ban ki-moon offered encouragement to a group of japanese high school students. they were visiting new york to attend the mock u.n. conference. they were at the opening ceremony of the model united nations conference. >> representing the japanese
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participants, a student from yokoyama, kazuma kobatake has this to say. >> i would like to express my gratitude for the initiative, the leadership that the united nations have demonstrated to recover japan from this tragedy. >> more than 2,000 high school students from 24 countries are taking part in the model u.n. conference that runs through saturday. the participants will interact with one another by drafting u.n. resolutions on pressing international issues and negotiating environmental matters. the operator of the hamaoka nuclear power plant in central japan has shut down one of the two remaining active reactors there. this is part of its plan to halt operations at the entire plant as requested by the government due to the risk of earthquakes. chubu electric power company said operations of the number four reactor was fully stopped at around 2:00 p.m. friday. it inserted control rods into the reactor to stop nuclear
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fission earlier in the day and halted power generation. the utility firm will start procedures to shut down the number five reactor, the only remaining reactor, on saturday. after two reactors are shut down, all five reactors at the hamaoka plant will be out of operation. the number one and two reactors have already been shut down for decommissioning and the number three reactor has been stopped for regular inspection. the plant complex is located directly above the projected focus of a magnitude 8 class earthquake that experts have long warned about. the halting of the operations at the number two reactor at the hamaoka plant means by the end of this month, 35 of japan's 54 nuclear reactors will be shut down. 14 reactors, including those at the crippled fukushima daiichi plant, will have suspended operations since the march 11th earthquake. 19 other reactors are or will be undergoing regular inspections by the end of may. so, what does this mean? power shortages.
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many firms have begun efforts to try and cope with the expected power shortages this summer. >> reporter: on thursday, leading construction manufacturer komastu announced how it plans to conserve power. >> translator: we are discussing the possibility of giving workers more days off by introducing a four-day workweek. >> reporter: komatsu president noji says the company is considering introducing the shorter workweek at its tokyo headquarters. smaller companies are following suit. about 750 people took part in a hastily-organized seminar on thursday in tokyo. >> translator: air conditioners are often not cleaned. blinds should be properly opened or closed. >> reporter: the organizer of the event emphasized the need to draw up a power conservation plan involving top management, as well as a review of
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production plans and work hours. >> translator: we have turned down the air conditioners and are using less electricity. we'll do everything we can to get through the hot summer. >> translator: now that the decision has been made to shut down the hamaoka plant, people must work together to deal with the power shortages. >> reporter: chubu electric power company started shutting down the number four and number five reactors of its hamaoka nuclear power plant in shizuoka prefecture on friday. the reactors are expected to be cooled down and stopped on sunday. the decision to suspend operations of the reactors came just before peak electricity demand in the summer. the utility firm initially planned to provide 30,890,000
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kilowatts of electricity. the output of the hamaoka plant accounts for about 12% of the utility's power output. the firm projected that the output in the summer will be 26,370,000 kilowatts. there is the possibility of power shortage if it exceeds the seasonal average. >> translator: every effort should be made not to inconvenience the public and to prevent rolling blackouts. >> reporter: one of the country's top businessmen gave his views on possible power shortages, resulting from the halt of the nuclear plant. >> translator: the chubu region should lead the nation's economy, and our company will do its utmost while trying to strike a balance between business activities and energy conservation. >> translator: i want to ask for cooperation from local people and companies in reducing power
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consumption, while listening to the views of both. i fear excessive restraint could have an adverse effect on employment. >> reporter: the heads of local governments that host nuclear power plants met economy, trade, and industry minister, bandi kaieda, on thursday. they demanded assurance that the nuclear plants do not pose a threat to local communities. >> translator: we ask the central government to deal with the matter responsibly. >> reporter: kaieda told them that in establishing future nuclear policies, the government will take into account the feelings of the local communities that host nuclear power plants. >> translator: shutting down a nuclear power plant will affect local communities in many ways, including employment. we want full government support to avoid any impact on the the death toll from the march 11th earthquake and
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tsunami and major aftershocks in northern japan has surpassed 15,000. the national police agency said on friday that the number of confirmed deaths including those from two major aftershocks on april 7th and 11th stands at 15,019. the agency says 8,975 people have been confirmed dead in miyagi prefecture and 4,42 1 in awate prefecture and 1,559 in fukushima prefecture. the agency also says 9,500 people have been reported missing. 115,500 people are still living in shelters, mostly in awate, miyagi and fukushima prefectures. more than two months have passed since a huge quake and tsunami devastated northeastern japan. despite a major relief efforts,
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some survivors are still not getting what they need. american daniel call is trying to change that. he's a popular tv personality here in japan. these days he's been spending a lot of time driving supplies up north and thanks to a popular social media site his truck is never empty. nhk world's june reports. >> reporter: before he leaves tokyo, he heads to a who sale market. danielle's mission is focused on taking fresh fruit and vegetables to people in hardest hit areas. he's volunteering his time because he has a strong connection to japan. in the early 1980s he worked as
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an english teacher in yamagata prefecture in the northeast, a place he considers his second home. daniel is known as a tv personality but the role he has devoted to now is that of humanitarian. his journey to draw up supplies will take him 650 kilometers northeast, a drive he'll do alone. along the way he meets a young couple who ran a poultry business. they give him about 2,000 eggs to take to people in need. >> translator: relearned that he was looking for veggies, and we wanted to help. >> reporter: daniel's been using
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the social media site twitter to let people know about his volunteer work. >> i'm going to the disaster area again tomorrow. >> reporter: many people have responded to his tweets, offering supplies. >> twitter has been an incredibly good tool. it's been a very good way to get informati information, up to date information. and even now, if i don't know something i can send out one tweet and i have, you know, like 20,000 followers or something like that. >> reporter: once daniel's rental truck is fully loaded, he's ready to head to the final destination, the town of yamada. yamada faces the pacific ocean and its fishing industry has a long history, but tsunami swept away boats and ports.
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daniel says residents haven't been getting enough relief supplies because road access has been limited since the tsunami hit. >> translator: thanks to his twitter connections he meets up with two volunteers. >> translator: when i send out information about what's needed and what we have enough of, i can get the right responses immediately. >> reporter: volunteers exchange information online and focus on areas that are not receiving enough supplies. >> translator: we've been craving fresh vegetables. this helps a lot. >> reporter: daniel eventually visits eight different areas in yamada until he finishes delivering all of his supplies.
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>> translator: daniel, we'll call you once we're able to fish again. please come back. >> reporter: daniel says he'll continue his work for as long as he can. >> i'm carrying fruit and vegetables, but i like to say that i'm carrying genki, carrying, you know, energy to these people, because, yeah, they can eat for a day or two with the stuff i bring, but i think it, you know, if they feel just a little bit better about the future, that will help them reach the future, at least that's my hope. >> and daniel is back here in tokyo. and he's in our studio. daniel, thanks for your time. you must be exhausted going back and forth from tokyo to up
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north. this is your, what, fourth time, fourth trip? >> well, let's see, i've actually been up in tohoku five trips. each time i go up i travel around between various cities. so i've been to yamada there at least six times. i've been in other places, miyagi, several other places, just trying to see what the situation was like. and then carrying stuff. >> what motivates you to go there back and forth over and over? >> well, you know, the government, all the city governments and national government are doing the best they can and you've got the japanese self-defense force, also, carrying stuff up there and they're doing their best. there's still a few holes. there's still a few places where there's just not quite enough stuff getting through or not reaching the people in a timely fashion. so my first -- my first thought was to go up there and just see what they needed. once i found out that they needed vegetables and fruit more than anything else, that's what i've been doing ever since. i've just been carrying as much
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fruit and fresh vegetables as i can. >> daniel is a household name. everybody knows you. does that help you a lot when you see people? >> it does, actually. here i am just one american guy in a big truck driving around. and you know, if i drive into a neighborhood and i say, hey, do you need food? they are not afraid. of me. they go, oh, i know that guy. >> it's daniel. >> yeah. i'm not only carrying food but i'm encouraging people as best i can. because of my work as a tv personality and reporter and stuff like that, especially the old people get a big kick out of the fact that i've actually gone out there and carried stuff for them. we sit around and talk and i encourage them and listen to their stories. they have so many sad stories to tell. they just need somebody to talk to. so i sit down with them for like a half hour or stuff like that. it takes a lot of time but it's well worth it. >> webefore you started going t the diss a center area you were active online giving out information on the internet.
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and what were you trying to tell people? >> well, i did many different things in terms of information, you know, brougadcasting. at the very beginning of the disast disaster, of course, the japanese government was kind of in confusion, tepco was in confusion and, you know, a lot of people really didn't know what was going on. but the japanese media, of course, jumped ride in and they did a very good job of following up with all the quake news and tsunami news. i felt the need for, you know, the same kind of news in another language, english, because there are a lot of foreigners living in japan now. especially up north, if there was anybody up there who needed help, they probably didn't have any kind of a news source. so not only me but several other people on twitter, we all started tweeting japanese news, translating it straight into english and getting it out of there as fast as we could. we sent out information about the quake, the tsunami, the blackouts, you know, the nuclear situation, radiation problems,
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transportation situation, telecommunication situation. i tell you, we were all very busy for about three weeks. i don't think any of us slept at all. but we, you know, i think we did a pretty good job of getting the information out. >> your effort paid off? >> i think so. i got a lot of people who sent me thank you tweets and they said, boy, you're the only source of news i got. and they were living in the disaster area. that's good. >> running out of time, i want to just squeeze in one more question. >> yes. >> i'm sure your mission will continue from now on. >> yes. >> what is your next plan? what do you have on your mind? >> well, in addition to continuing to carry things i want to try to set up a website and encourage people to buy food, you know, vegetables and fruits directly from the farmers in the northern part of the country because right now they're really hurting. long term we have to support the farmers and primary producers up there in that part of the country to get the economy back on its feet so that tohoku, northern japan itself, can get back on its feet. i think that's going to be a crucial thing in the midterm.
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but i'm going to keep on going up there anden couraging people as best i can. just telling them jokes, you know, and just, you know, meeting them. i'm going to try to do that as much as i can. i'm going up again next week. >> daniel kawl, thanks for your time. good luck with your mission. >> thanks very much. >> and be safe. >> okay. >> all right. okinawa governor says a proposal by u.s. senators to relocate the u.s. futenma u.s. air station might be worth discussing. but he said assurances needs to be made to reduce the burden on his people. governor is referring to a proposal made on wednesday by three senators including carl levin, the chair of the senate arms services committee. the senators called an existing plan to move the futenma air
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station to nago city in northern okinawa, unrealistic. they instead propose combining futenma with the kadena air base also in okinawa and moving some of kadena's air force bases to guam. >> translator: the idea could serve as an entry point if it will result in less noise and base operations at kadena and a reduction in the burden on local communities. but there will be no debate unless okinawa is assured that the plan will reduce aircraft noise. >> despite this new proposal, u.s. government officials are assuring japan they are committed to the existing plan to relocate futenma air station to nago city. the pledge came on thursday between working-level talks in washington. the discussions were in preparation for an upcoming meeting of the two countries' foreign and defense ministers. japanese officials asked for a clarification of the proposal, but the u.s. officials play it down, saying that it had been studied before and was just
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unfeasible. they say there has been no change in the u.s. government's position to follow the existing plan. but observers say the u.s. defense department may have no choice to look at the senators' proposals because congress will begin a full debate on the defense budget next week. two explosions in pakistan targeting the military training center have killed more than 70 people. the country's largest muslim extremist group claimed responsibility saying the attack was retaliation of killing the al qaeda leader, osama bin laden. the back-to-back blast occurred at the entrance of the facility in the northwestern part of the country on friday. police say at least 73 people were killed and more than 60 others injured. nearly all the victims were recruits for the security forces which guards pakistan's border with afghanistan. the police say a man on a motorcycle detonated the first bomb. the second blast occurred
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shortly after. the muslim extremist group, pakistani taliban, told nhk over the phone that the attacks were in revenge for the killing of bin laden by u.s. forces on may 2nd. the group is suspected of having ties with al qaeda. concerns are mounting over the worsening security situation in the country as the group has threatened to attack pakistani authorities and high ranking officials cooperating with the u.s.-led war on terrorism. hi there, time now for a weather update. let's hide into eastern asia. it looks like it will be a very wet weekend for parts of southeast china. a band of rain extending across the southern coast here. back up into indochina as well. it's going to be very wet. we've got the low pressure system here, lots of humid air coming from the south as well. there is potential definitely for flooding and also for landslides. north of that, things are very dry with high pressure in place. that's not necessarily a good
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thing. drought is affecting many areas of northern china. so we really do want to see the rain coming in here where we have it is across northeastern china and hokkaido. and the korean peninsula seeing a calm weekend. let's look and see what's happening in the northeastern coast of japan. this is key cities. looks like temperatures are going to be fairly good and weatherwise, partly sunny skies. not bad either. fairly good outlook here. temperaturewise for the rest of eastern asia. 30 degrees in beijing. warm day there. 22 in seoul and 25 in tokyo. clear skies just perfect day, actually. as we head into saturday. down towards the tropics. 34 in manila and also in bangkok. in most of those places you will be seeing some thunderstorms moving through during the eat of the day. as we head into north america, out west is looking nice and settled for once. it's not going to last very long so do enjoy it while you can. we are going to see rain coming right in down to coast, down
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towards southern california. probably see some snow on the mountains, too. fairly cold towards the north. as for the central plains, well, things are going to be much dryer here, but cooler, too. a big shot of cooler air comes down and it will bring those temperatures down. i'll show you those in just a second. as for the eastern third of the continent, very unsettled. we've got severe weather today. this is going to be coming down from illinois in towards louisiana and mississippi. expect severe thunderstorms with hail, damaging winds as well. and all that rain is really just going to be lingering. high pressure offshore is going to stop it from moving very quickly which means it could be an opportunity for flash flooding in the mid atlantic and down into the southeast. temperaturewise, keeping the heat in the southeast deaf nitdly. 30 degrees in atlanta on your friday. chicago, 24 on your friday. cut that in half as we head into saturday. 12 degrees. we will see things cooling down in the midwest. as we head into europe, europe is going to be pretty unsettled to the west, in fact.
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once again, the british isles seeing the front come in. nothing too severe. nothing to worry about. find something to do indoors this weekend. as for out towards the east here, well, western russia and scandinavia, thunderstorms for you, too. and then we see another band of thunderstorms. this is going to be developing from northern spain out towards the alpine region. saturday night into sunday is when that rain is going to get heaviest. temperaturewise, we will see things cooling down here out to the west by maybe five or six degrees also. i leave you now with your extended forecast.
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that wraps it up for now on "newsline," we'll be back with more news in half an hour. i'm michio kijima in tokyo. thank you for watching. bye-bye.
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